Response to inquiry into welfare-to-work

The Federation has submitted a response to a Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry. We have highlighted the need for housing associations and employment services to be better aligned to save costs, improve service users’ experience and better target those facing complex barriers to work, with a strong focus on those furthest from the jobs market.

28 August 2015

The Federation has submitted its response to a Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry, highlighting the need for contracted employment support programmes to include a strong and effective focus on those who are furthest from the jobs market. This is essential if these programmes are to support the Government’s twin goals of reducing the benefits bill and halving the disability employment gap. Many of those claimants will be in social housing, so we are also pressing the point that future programmes need to be better at working with housing associations. In our submission we refer to associations as locally trusted partners who work closely with their tenants and other agencies, and that with the right conditions our members could play an even greater role in all aspects of their customers’ journey to employment. This would mean employment support would be effectively targeted at those facing complex barriers, service users would benefit from more holistic support that is joined up and person-centred and cost savings would be delivered to the public purse through better integration and alignment of services at a local level. Our submission considers some of the barriers preventing greater housing association involvement in the current Work Programme, and makes recommendations focused on how future contracted support programmes might be structured to address these.